A lot has changed in joint replacement in the past 10 years and I get a lot of questions about what makes a good candidate for hip replacement in particular. This week, I’m sharing answers to some of the most common questions about the latest in hip replacement including the anterior approach.
When is it time to consider surgery?
I always recommend that any patient with joint pain visit us – or another orthopedic specialist – before pain begins to significantly interfere with daily activities. Doing so allows us to explore physical therapy, and other non-surgical solutions first – surgery is always the last option. But even when other options have been exhausted, far too many people put surgery off for too long, even when hip pain is severely limiting simple day-to-day activities like walking up or down stairs. Living in pain inhibits your ability to be independent, manage responsibilities and stay fit – a key factor for long-term health.
How invasive is a hip replacement procedure?
Traditional hip replacement is accomplished by accessing the joint through the side or back of the hip, a method that requires cuts to multiple tendons and muscles. Recovery from this procedure can take months, but is still a highly effective long-term solution. But a newer, very minimally invasive procedure is also available. Using the anterior hip approach, we access the hip from the front of the body and avoid cutting any major tendons or muscle groups, significantly reducing pain and recovery time.
How long will it take to recover from a hip replacement procedure?
Patients must start slow with traditional hip replacement and keep their range of motion to an absolute minimum after surgery to aid recovery and avoid dislocation. A full recovery can take around six months. By contrast, the anterior approach has many people back to an active lifestyle as soon as six weeks after the procedure, with far fewer post-procedure restrictions.
Remember, surgery is always the last option patients should explore, but no one needs to live in pain. See one or our orthopedic specialist to find the best solution for you. To learn more about the anterior approach to hip replacement, contact our offices for a consultation. If you would like to make an appointment, please Click Here to use the online form or call (303) 344-9090.